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Our goal is to win the gold medal in CWG

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Ahead of Commonwealth Games 2022, The Daily Guardian spoke to Indian Hockey player Akashdeep Singh about his preparations for the upcoming event to be held in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Excerpts:

Q: You were part of the 2014 CWG team when the team won silver, so your memories and, according to you, where we missed competing against Australia that year.

A: Yes, we competed well and, as the silver medallists in 2014 final, we fell to the Australians. We have learned a lot since 2014, and given the way we are practicing right now, if we play our natural game, we can skate by and defeat any team with ease.

Q: You once said in the Corona era last year that not being able to access the field or engage in outdoor training can lead to stress among athletes… What was the stress like and how did you deal with it?

A: During the Corona period, we were running our camp in Bangalore. We were stuck here. The advantage of this thing was that we got to do personal training and also improve our skills.

Q: You were a part of the Rio Olympics and also won gold at the Asian Games in 2014, but unfortunately, you were omitted from the Tokyo Olympics bus, and then again you were considered for the Asian Champions trophy. How has this coming and going in the squad affected the momentum of your game?

A: Yes, it does make a difference mentally. It was very disappointing for me not to be selected for the Tokyo Olympics, but the coach and staff told me that I have to work on areas that are lacking, so I am working on those things. I have got a chance to be on the team again. I hope that we do well in the Commonwealth Games.

Q: What are your preparations for CWG 2022? What are your expectations and your thoughts on the current form of the hockey team?

A: We have been running a camp for 3 weeks in Bangalore. And training is going very well. We play matches with the teams as well. All the players are confident and our goal is to win the gold medal. is all set.

Q: According to you what is the form of the Indian Hockey team?

A: We have competed in Pro League contests. In the Pro League, we have done incredibly well. We came in third place, but the best teams—Germany and Belgium—performed admirably alongside them. Teams from England and Argentina have lost. Thus, the group is functioning fairly well.

Q: The 2021 Tokyo Olympics – the country’s first Olympic medal in 41 years – the feeling.

A: It was a great moment not only for me but for everyone who loves hockey. My teammates were also very happy.

Q: Your journey from Punjab to London, there should be a movie on it right?

A: We are all from Jalandhar Academy, so we used to train together there and worked hard. We won the Junior Nationals, then we came to the Junior Camp from Punjab, and then we got selected for the Seniors. Slowly, the changes were used up and we did well, as in the 2014 Asian Games, which we won after a long time and a silver medal in the Commonwealth. Our team’s overall performance in the World Cup was also fine. When we started playing, the team was ranked 11th, and now the team has improved to a 3–4th rank. Now the goal is to bring the team to the world No. 1 rank.

Q: We haven’t won a gold medal ever, but he has won a silver medal twice. Should we expect one this time?

A: Yes, I assure you. We have improved a lot and can beat any team. We will bring gold this time.

Q: Is this a kind of pressure on you, or do you take it as a responsibility to grab one for your country?

A: There is a lot of pressure in major tournaments like the Asian Games or Commonwealth Games. Because it happens after 4 years, we play with the thought that we have to perform well. This time around, we will play with the same thought process and keep our mindset strong. So, I am sure we will come up with a gold medal.

Q: How aggressive would you be as a member of the team under Graham Reid?

A: Yes, there is a lot of excitement. Now I am playing attacking mid, earlier I used to play forward. Graham guides me a lot after every match. They tell us what we need to improve, we write it down in a diary and work on it.

Q: Please send your message to the CWG contingent who will represent team India in Birmingham in the Punjabi language.

A: Chakk de Phatte!

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What Sports Are The Most Frequently Bet On?

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Betting on sports is a vast industry making up over 30% of the entire gambling industry. If we take a look at what this might look like in numbers, around 500 billion dollars is used for gambling around the world each year. This means that approximately 150 billion dollars are spent on sports betting annually, which shows just how big a market it is.You are probably wondering what sports are most frequently bet on throughout the year. Here is a list of some of the most popular sports that people tend to bet on the most. We will take a look at whether it is because people just enjoy watching and betting on their favorite sport or whether a specific sport gives you an advantage while betting. 

American Football

In the USA, American Football is without a doubt the number one sport that people both love to play and watch. The NFL has some of the most diehard fans of any sport, and people follow the game like a religion. With huge tournaments such as the super bowl, which attract attention from all around the world, it is no surprise that American Football is one of the most popular sports when it comes to betting.Another reason that people love to bet on American Football is the variety of leagues that are available to bet on. People can bet on college football all the way up to the NFL, which means there isn’t a shortage of teams to rally behind and place bets on. They can also choose to bet on live games or make predictions before they start. More options mean more opportunities to place all kinds of bets on different teams, which adds to the popularity of this sport in the gambling scene.  

Soccer

Soccer is the biggest sport in the world with the largest number of people playing it globally. It is then no surprise that it is also a huge sport when it comes to placing bets. With the advancement of technology, the types of bets that people can place on soccer matches have progressed over the years. The most noticeable type of bet that has caused sports betting within soccer to skyrocket is the ability to cash out early. This type of betting has made watching soccer a lot more exciting as people have to be paying extra attention to the screen to decide whether they want to get out of the bet or stay in for the maximum gain.In the UK alone, it is estimated that a mind-blowing 1 billion pounds are spent on soccer bets each year. Soccer as a sport has also only gone up in popularity over the last few years with the American soccer league, MLS, gaining a lot of attention. Although it is a long way from being as popular as American football, soccer in the US appears to be gaining a lot more traction and fans from around the world. For this reason, it is easy to see that soccer is going nowhere anytime soon, and the interest in betting on the sport will likely only increase. 

Horse Racing

For those that are unaware, horse racing was the number one sport for betting for the longest time. This may not still be the case however, horse racing still plays a massive part in the sports gambling world, with an estimated 100 billion dollars being spent betting on the sport each year. In addition to this, horse racing is the only sport where you can actually bet on it at all times of the day.Horse racing is a huge day out for many people who save part of their earnings to spend betting on horses in the hopes of winning big. This may come as a big surprise, but Japan actually has the biggest horse racing market, with the United Kingdom following behind and then Australia behind them. 

Tennis

The number three spot when it comes to sports most frequently bet on is tennis. You might not have expected this but there are some reasons why this is the case. The first being that placing bets on tennis is considered relatively safe due to the odds being fairly low. For example, if one of the top players, such as Rafael Nadal, is scheduled to play against a player who is not considered very strong, it is a relatively safe bet to place on Nadal winning.   

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HUMPY, SACHDEV, KULKARNI GIVE INDIA LEAD IN WOMEN’S SECTION AT 44TH CHESS OLYMPIAD

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Koneru Humpy, Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkarni scored victories as India A pulled off a 3.5-0.5 win against Kazakhstan to emerge as sole leader in the women’s section after ninth round of 44th Chess Olympiad in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu on Monday.

Top-seed India A were given a winning start in the penultimate round by Humpy when she outperformed Zhansaya Abdumalik. R Vaishali, on the other hand, had to share points against Bibisara Assaubayeva before Sachdev and Kulkarni tilted the result of the match in India’s favour after securing wins over Xeniya Balabayeva and Guliskhan Nakhbayeva in their respective games.

With just one more round remaining, India A have grabbed the leading spot with 17 points while Poland, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine are jointly holding the second position with 16 points each.

India B and India C also notched up identical 3-1 wins in their respective Round 9 matches. While India B defeated the Netherlands with Padmini Rout, Mary Ann Gomes and Divya Deshmukh scoring victories, India C thrashed Sweden. PV Nandhidhaa and Pratyusha Bodda scored victories for India C whereas Eesha Karavade and M Varshini Sahiti settled for draws.

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THE GREAT INDIA RUN ENTERS PUNJAB, RUNNERS REACH DINANAGAR

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The Kashmir leg of the Great India Run culminated today with 11 runners entering Punjab on Tuesday evening. The runners have started their run from Mansar Lake and reached Dinanagar covering a distance of 89kms. The runners reached Dinanagar via Samba, Keediyan Gandiyal Bridge and Aman Bhalla College.

After a night halt, they will start their journey tomorrow to DAV College, Hoshiarpur via Mukerian. The Kashmir leg saw the runners complete a total distance of 255kms running through iconic locations including Bahihal, Patnitop and Mansar Lake.

The relay-run will cover 829 kilometers across 4 states from Srinagar to New Delhi from August 5 to August 15. The run is being organize to celebrate the 75th Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign. An initiative of iTV & iTV Foundation, the run builds on the success of the first chapter of the Great India Run held in 2016.

The Flag-off in Srinagar was done by Shri Manoj Sinha, L-G J&K and Shri Kartik Sharma, Rajya Sabha MP from Lal Chowk, Srinagar. In support of the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ campaign, the L-G handed the lead runner a national flag after unfurling it at the venue. The first leg of the run is being led by Arun Bhardwaj, an Ultra-marathon runner.

The run venue was decorated with 75 Indian tricolours to mark 75 years of Independence. The route covers Banihal, Patnitop, Mansar Lake, Dinanagar, Hoshiarpur, Rupnagar, Ambala Cantt. finally culminating in Delhi on August 15. Full details of the route are available at the twitter handle @TGIR2022. Daily coverage of the run will also be visible on national TV and the national press. The culmination ceremony will be held in New Delhi on August 15th with Union Minister Jitendra Singh as Chief Guest.

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India announce squad for Asia Cup 2022; Bumrah ruled out

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The All-India Senior Selection Committee on Monday announced the 14-members squad for the upcoming Asia Cup. The much-anticipated Asia Cup cricket tournament will take place from August 27 this year. The 15th edition of the tournament will be played in the UAE between six teams (main event). Defending champions India are also the most successful team, having won the trophy seven times. While the last edition of the tournament was held in an ODI format, this edition will feature the T20 format.

The six teams are divided into two groups with India, Pakistan and a qualifying team in Group A; and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan forming Group B. Each team plays the other once in the group stage with the top two teams from each group advancing to the Super 4 round. The top 2 teams from Super 4 will qualify for the final.

India’s squad for Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan.

The star pacer of India Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel were not available for selection owing to injuries. They are currently undergoing rehab at the NCA in Bengaluru.

Three players – Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel and Deepak Chahar have been named as standbys.

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Tennis legend Serena Williams announces retirement

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American legend Serena Williams, winner of 23 Grand Slam titles, announced her retirement from tennis on Tuesday, saying she is “evolving away” from the sport. The 40-year-old tennis star said that the best word to describe what she is up to is “evolution” and that she wants to grow her family. “I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people,” Serena said in an article for Vogue magazine. Earlier this year, she was knocked out at Wimbledon in her first singles match. However, she has now set her eyes on the US Open in what could prove her farewell tournament.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t ready to win Wimbledon this year. And I don’t know if I will be ready to win New York. But I’m going to try. And the lead-up tournaments will be fun,” she said in the Vogue interview. She has been ranked singles world number one by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) for 319 weeks, including a joint-record 186 consecutive weeks.

She also finished as the year-end number one five times. Serena has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the open era, and the second-most of all time, only behind Margaret Court’s 24.

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Indian boxers receive warm welcome

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CWG 2022 medal-winning boxers Nitu Ghangas, Sagar Ahlawat and Jaismine Lamboria received a warm welcome from people in Bahadurgarh after a successful campaign in Birmingham.

India finished 4th in the medal tally at the recently-concluded CWG 2022 in Birmingham with 22 Gold, 15 Silver and 23 Bronze medals and a total of 61 medals at the Commonwealth Games. People interacted with the boxers, felicitated them with garlands and clicked pictures with them. Nitu Ghanghas told ANI during the interaction, “After winning the gold, I have been getting good wishes from people across the country. I hope I continue receiving the same in future and I will keep winning medals for the country. I have competitions this year and I will keep winning medals with focus.”

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